God Isn’t on Our Side

Pooh

 

 

Four teens surrounded a vehicle in St. Louis  early Sunday morning armed with hammers. When the driver, a Bosnian fellow by the name of Zemir Begic, got out of his car, the teens allegedly pounced on him and beat him to death.

Police say that the killing was not racially motivated, had nothing to do with Ferguson or the protests, although Begic was white and the two teens arrested were black. Police have not released any other possible motive for the random killing.

But another man who was in the same neighborhood as the killing reported that he had also been attacked.

According to news reports, Seldin Dzananoic, also Bosnian, said he was accosted by a group of teens with hammers on the same street about an hour before Begic was attacked, but was able to fight them off with only minor injuries.

“I’m just lucky,” he said. “God is on my side.”

I understand that the man felt grateful to be alive.

I understand that he had a sense of being saved from a midnight execution.

I understand that he must have felt somebody in higher authority gave him a pardon.

But why do we insist on attributing old fashioned luck as evidence of God’s favor?

They are not the same thing.

God isn’t on our side.

God doesn’t take sides.

God loves us all. Even those who drag a man from his car and beat him to death with a hammer.

Why do we insist on attributing God’s love for us on the basis of comparative circumstances? 

My home is bigger than yours. God must be more pleased with me than you.

Kirk’s Kickstarter campaign raised $50,000 over goal. Sharon’s Kickstarter campaign fell $50,000 short. God must be on Kirk’s side. Too bad for Sharon.

Mel’s in a head-on collision and walks away without a scratch.

God was with me, Mel says. God protected me.

A random tree falls on Stan’s truck during a freak windstorm, killing Stan and his three young boys.

How can Stan’s surviving widow feel anything but betrayed by God? Why wasn’t he protecting her husband, her boys?

We can’t have it both ways: If we say God protected us, blessed us, prospered us, God was on our side when things go our way;  then we are left with no other alternative but to blame God when things don’t go our way.

God is own our side is terrible theology.

God doesn’t take sides.

God is present for ALL of US.

Immanuel.

God is with us.

He is with us.

That is his promise to us.

That is his provision for us.

That is his protection over us.

That is his comfort in the hard times.

That, and that alone, ought to be the hope upon which faith is built.

Immanuel.

God is with us.

God is not a fan cheering us on from the sidelines.

God is neither for us.

Or against us.

He is with us.

God is with us. Every moment. Every day.

An ever-present help in the time of trouble.

He sits in the dark with us.

He rejoices with us in the light of day.

Immanuel.

God is with us.

All of us.

Every single one of us.

Immanuel.

God is with us.

Always.

That is the hope and promise of this season.

The hope and promise of every season.

God isn’t on our side.

He is AT our side.

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

5 Comments

Tim

about 6 years ago

Powerful insights, Karen. This reminds me of Joshua 5:13-14 - Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” God's kingdom is not bound by human interrelations, but transcends them.

Reply

Karen Spears Zacharias

about 6 years ago

Thanks for this addition, Tim. Good words.

Reply

Gloria

about 6 years ago

Thank you. Amen!

Reply

Susan Parker

about 6 years ago

Well stated. Thank you.

Reply

Nancy

about 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing these beautiful and true words

Reply

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